“Another Reason To Celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Jack Bauer Returns!”
Cinco de Mayo, the Fifth of May is here. Yes, many will break out guacamole, tequila and Corona beer to celebrate the improbable victory of 4,000 Mexican soldiers, militia and volunteer Indios armed with 50-year-old rifles and machetes on 5 May 1862 against arguably Europe’s finest army in Puebla hundred miles from Mexico City, Puebla.
Of the 8,000 French soldiers and Conservative Mexican allies, almost half were killed or wounded by those Mexicans. The brilliantly plumed French Cavalry was routed by Colonel Porfirio Diaz’s world-class horse soldiers. After their humiliation, the French retreated, sending panicked messages to Napoleon II: send more soldiers. The Mexicans defeated Europe’s finest army in this Cinco de Mayo battle, nonetheless, the war continued for another five years. Eventually, the French left and the party started; it continues this next Monday, the Fifth of May.
BUT, we now have another reason to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The drought is over. Jack Bauer is back! “24” is back!
Kiefer Sutherland, who portrayed a despicable U.S. Marine officer in “A Few Good Men,” developed Jack Bauer into a hero of America television. Each episode of “24” equated to one of the 24 hours of the instant crisis. Millions of people held their breath waiting for the next episode.
This writer ignored “24” for a long time for two reasons. One, as a former United States Marine I hated Kiefer Sutherland (Jack Bauer) for creating a despicable criminal lying Bible-thumping Marine Second Lieutenant who jousted with a brilliant Naval Lieutenant Tom Cruise in “A Few Good Men’s” court room and lost. Secondly, I tired of listening to Rush Limbaugh carry on about Jack Bauer and Monday night’s “24” every Tuesday.
Then, one day, with nothing else to do I rented the entire first season of “24” and sat down to watch it, episode after episode without commercials buttressed with bottle after bottle of Corona beer and Bean/Chorizo burritos. I was hooked. Limbaugh was right. I forgave Sutherland. I then introduced my invalid mother, who I was taking care of after her major stroke to “Jack Bauer.” Moderate Democrat that she was, on foreign policy she was a hawk. She was a natural Jack Bauer fan.
9/11’s attack and murder of 3000 Americans by Arab Muslim terrorists created the fan base for “24.” 9/11 profoundly affected my mother. Multiply her by millions and one sees how Jack Bauer became so popular.
Certainly, Jack Bauer’s methods to convince terrorists to confess their peccadilloes, motives and plans were frowned upon by the squishy among us but many if not most didn’t object to how his brutal methods were portrayed. 9/11 focused many on prosecuting a War on Terror that was defined by President George W. Bush as one was either for us or against us. Most Americans felt that way even after some soured on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Most Americans supported “enhanced interrogation” techniques used by the Bush Administration and government agencies even if they didn’t tell pollsters that.
Despite legal memos written by brilliant Bush lawyers that defined and approved “enhanced interrogation” the first thing the squishy Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) did was to resurrect an investigation that had cleared the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of using illegal methods on captured terrorists; despite this Obama-sanctioned witch hunt, there were no indictments. Despite this failed effort, Democrat California U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein conducted her own witch hunt (supported by the GOP’s John McCain) with her Senate Intelligence Committee and has stood by while her staffers have leaked details of their one-sided uber-partisan witch hunt conclusions that the CIA broke laws in pursuing terrorism.
Obama’s DOJ does not measure up to the brilliant John Yoo and his colleagues and their boss Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez who provided the legal basis for “enhanced interrogation” and for the ever-present Guantanamo Bay prison for Islamist fanatics captured on the battle field or even for the military tribunals the Supreme Court has approved. The Obama Administration is using tribunals against terrorists.
Here is a simple question:
If Muslim terrorists were exposed by National Security Agency (NSA) snooping and CIA field intelligence to have smuggled a nuclear bomb into New York City, Los Angeles or Washington D.C. for detonation within hours, would President Obama (or Dianne Feinstein) rely on those Yoo and Gonzalez memos to use “enhanced interrogation” to find those Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) or would he (they) just tell the FBI Director, please look for the bomb and be sure to read every “person of interest” his/her Miranda Rights and to have a lawyer present.
Jack Bauer would let nothing stop him from finding the bomb, nothing. Would he? Would you?
Contreras formerly wrote for the New America News Service of the New York Times Syndicate